Riddler vs. Joker war continues, unveils origin of old Batman foe

Tom King’s latest arc in the pages of Batman has pitted the Riddler against the Joker in “The War of Jokes and Riddles.” In the interlude issue of the arc, King has cleverly reshaped the origin of an old Batman rogue: the Kite Man.

With “The War of Jokes and Riddles” taking place sometime between “Zero Year” and the New 52’s second year of Bruce Wayne fighting crime as Batman, King has taken advantage of the timeline and opportunity to tell an origin story.

(***Spoilers follow***)

Caught in between the Joker and the Riddler’s war is Charles “Chuck” Brown—a petty criminal with a past relationship with the Joker (he helped build the Jokermobile). To make matters worse, Batman has chosen Brown as the perfect pawn to get to the Joker, and forces Brown to set up a meeting with the Joker. As Brown fumbles his way to organizing the meeting, Deadshot nearly takes his head off, the Riddler intercepts his plans and at the actual meeting a melee involving Killer Croc, Clayface, Soloman Grundy, Batman and the Joker takes place.

Luckily for Brown, and somewhat inexplicably, the Joker takes mercy on him for his disasterous planning and intended double-cross. However, the Riddler does not. And as punishment, the Riddler was able to place poison on the strings of Brown’s kite, which he flew with his son—meaning his son was poisoned and by issue’s end, was dead.

As typical with comics, Brown uses tragedy to form his alter-ego, and shows back up to the Joker in full Kite Man attire.

The issue and plot from King was perfectly executed, and told through the villains eyes.

Look for the war to escalate next issue.

Written by | Omar Hussain

Omar Hussain serves as the Co-Publisher and Managing Editor of the Heroic Universe.

  • Carter

    Kite Man? What a waste of time.